MOBILIZE, a company that helps mission-driven organizations manage events and recruit volunteers, came to me with the idea to create an explainer video to clearly and visually show what Mobilize can do. Many of their potential clients do different type of work, and hold a variety of events but all need to find volunteers and mobilize a crew of supporters. Honing in on how Mobilize can expedite this process through an online platform was important to convey to potential clients. This explainer would be hosted on their homepage and also featured on their Facebook page for potential clients to learn about how the Mobilize platform works.
I worked with their in-house graphic designer to explore their branding guidelines–including colors, fonts and logo usage. It was important to use these to have a jumping off point to push these assets into finding ways that they could be animated. For example, taking marker lines, and animate them being drawn on, or static paper tears animate actually being torn. I also began researching stock photos and stock video that could be used for the video along with their collection of user photos and event images. Additionally, the client provided some reference animations that they liked to provide inspiration, like this one from Spotify. It’s always helpful when clients can provide reference images, or especially reference videos that give a sense of the feeling and energy they want the animation to convey.
Based on the research and development begun in step one, I put together several rounds of a storyboard. Each draft, would provide a few dozen frames of artwork that would have a line of text with it and use text descriptions and red arrows to show how things would move. While doing drafts of the storyboard, I also began to research music tracks that would fit within their budget but would elevate the video with energetic music. Before I was a motion designer, I worked in Los Angeles as a film composer, so music is something I consider a crucial element. However, much like working with directors who sometimes struggled to convey what the music should be, I try to help clients find words to communicate the kind of music they’re looking for, that would be the right fit.
SOUND AND PICTURE COME TOGETHER
Once we finalized the artwork and transitions in the storyboard, the next step was doing an animatic. This is a key component to figuring out if the timing is right: do we need to cut any text?, shorten any sections?, etc. But, after two rounds of doing animatic with a temp music track and voiceover, we were ready to finalize the audio. At first, we struggled to find a good music track, not finding anything quite right on Audio Jungle or Premium Beats. But, fortunately, the producer was willing to expand the music budget and found a great music track on MusicBed.com.
Sometimes, audio is an overlooked part of an animated video. Since people might see the video without sound, or on low volume or just not in ideal listening conditions (like subway tunnels!), sound is sometimes the last part given much effort, but it shouldn’t bel! Capturing your audience’s attention and pulling a viewer in requires immersing them in an experience where sound is a crucial part of that. It’s like the “secret ingredient” in some magical stew, that makes the flavor pop! For this project, the producer put out a call for a female BIPOC voiceover artist who would be interested in reading the script for the video. Nicole Lockhart was hired to read the script. With the help of an old friend of mine, audio engineer Josh Rogosin, made a great recording of Nicole. With the new selected music licensed and ready to be mixed with the voiceover, we were ready to move into the animation phase.
FINALIZING THE MAGIC
This is where it all comes together, and the animation part begins. Bringing in all my illustrative assets, Photoshopped images, edited voiceover track, the magic happens here. The static artwork now has life breathed into it and it moves! Once all the timing was set, I played around with the "wiggle" to give it a stop motion feel and added moving textures to give it a more natural feeling. It was ready to go live on Mobilize's website and social media channels and share with new and potential clients.